On Saturday, December 12, 2015 leaders from 195 nations concluded the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris by approving a global agreement to address climate change. This agreement includes a commitment to keep global warming well below 2 degrees. The ELCA welcomes the Paris Accord, and we renew our own commitment to care for all of God’s good creation.
“We stand at a critical moment, when the world has come together to decide the framework for our shared future,” said Interim Advocacy Director Mary Minette, who traveled to Paris last week as part of a delegation representing ACT Alliance, of which the ELCA is a member.
“People of faith showed up in unprecedented numbers for the climate talks in Paris because we believe that this moment includes a moral obligation to our most vulnerable neighbors, to future generations, and to all of God’s creation to act on climate change.
The Paris agreement sets the world on a pathway to stewardship, justice and sustainability. All countries have, for the first time, agreed to take concrete steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to review and increase their commitments over time.
The Paris agreement includes financial pledges to help developing countries adopt clean energy technologies and adapt to already-occurring impacts of climate change. It also includes provisions that will help the most vulnerable countries avoid the worst of human suffering from irreversible climate damage in the future, and it sets the world on a more sustainable, low carbon, development pathway.
The outcome of the Paris talks reflects momentum brought by a growing global movement of people and communities around the world, including communities of faith, who are leading the way in pushing for a better future.
As we leave Paris and return to our own communities, we must continue to act in solidarity with those who are most vulnerable to climate change, with those yet to come, and with all of God’s creation.”
Along with membership in ACT Alliance, the ELCA is also a member of the Lutheran World Federation and World Council of Churches. Together these organizations had a delegation of over 100 in Paris for the summit. You can read ACT Alliance’s response to the Paris Accord here.
To learn more about the Paris summit and how the ELCA continues to be involved in caring for God’s Creation, visit http://www.elca.org/advocacy and read Mary’s updates from Paris on our ELCA Advocacy blog.
ADVOCACY: national/global advocacy, public witness
Issue-based advocacy, climate change